Windows and DOS

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§Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥
Registered Senior Member
Hello there. I'm a beginner in computer sciences, and would like some information about Windows/Dos please. This series of essays contains several contradictions. In some places in these essays the author says Windows is not Dos, that Dos is run as an add-on under Windows. But then in some places he says Windows runs on top of Dos. In some places he says there is a core of Dos. In other places he says the Win9x is not an integrated OS but rather just a huge bunch of separate chunks of software almost working together. When the dude talks about using simple Dos code to crash all of Windows, it seems he is actually referring to the flooding of an area of ram used by all programmes on such systems, which simply means he is choking that global ram area; it doesn't mean Dos runs Windows. But on the other hand he still doesn't offer much clear evidence one way or the other.

So, what can people tell me about this? Is the core of Windows 9x Dos? Was Win 9x written new but with Dos material added in for backwards compatability?
Window 9X is DOS. NT/W2K/XPP is not. Then again, same people who did the DOS (Bill Gates) did the NT. So old habits die hard...

LINUX or BEOS is not DOS.
I see you are having fun with DOS/Windows. As Kmguru mentioned, Bill Gates designed DOS. When IMB did not want to purchase the rights to DOS then Bill Gates made sure that he and his co-developer secured the rights to DOS. Windows is an operating system that basically does the DOS for you and adds a pretty GUI on top so that you don’t see the DOS and hooks it calls. As such, plain Windows is not stand alone. As much as Bill would have you believe. When Windows 95 came along, about 10 Dos commands were removed. If you go looking into Sys.edit you will find that it still uses EMM.386. A DOS command for loading and using upper memory. Config. and Autoexec are also still there and being used. Another is Command. All come from DOS. These three files have caused more headaches over time for users than you can imagine. All at one time or another have been targets for concentrated attacks for virus writers. Standard Windows is not independent of DOS.
OKAY,i have heard that Bill gates didnt developed DOS,instead he just bought an OS called CPM/80 from a man that i dont remember correctly,and rechristened it MS-DOS VER 1.0.the whole story of DOS is like this:
when IBM enterd the microcomputer market,they had decided to case their computers on intel 8088 microprocessor.for that IBM had two goals:

1.)it wanted an OS quickly.
2.)it wanted OS to support the existing base of application programs.
For these two it contacted DIGITAL RESEARCH and Microsoft,none of them had a 16-bit OS ready.However TIM APTTERSONof Seattle Computer products had written a 16-bit OS that mimicked CP/M 80 OS.

microsoft cleverly purchased 86-dos(thats what TIM called it)from Seattle Products and promptly christened it MS-DOS VER 1.0so when IBM pc was released in market in 1981 it was supported by ms-dos.he paid 50,000$ for it(Bill paid) which included the license and other perks.

Also Windows is a single task switching,multitasking DOS.not just DOS.that is the why TSR were introduced initially in DOS.

Did you know that DOS was first named QDOS for Quick and Dirty Operating System.
hell,could someone tell me how to install driver for EMM386.exe?,it always gives message...EMM driver not installed...

For DOS it is done like this:

In the file config.sys add this line:
The above driver must be added as a tsr for emm386 to work,

device=(where file is located at)emm386.exe (additional parameters are)
noems For no memory reserved)
/_ _ _ (for reserving an amount of memory for emm386 to use)

lines should look like this:

device=c:\windows\emm386.exe /4000

device=c:\dos\emm386.exe noems

Once config.sys has been saved, then you must reboot for the changes to become effective.
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QUICK and Dirty, because it was made in a very short period of time. Dirty---has many bugs in it.

MS needed that OS fast. But latter it was decidet to rename it to DOS, because it would not be a good marketing strategy to call your soft Quick and Dirty.
Wet 1,

already tried the stuff you"re referring to...but whenever i reboot the system it gives config.sys file corrupt message...

i had to reinstall the whole stuff out...

Is there the possibility of a corrupted file? You can trouble shoot the file by putting in the word rem and add a space before the line. This will have the effect of ignoring that one line during reboot. Save and reboot. If you have no effect then remove the rem statement and the file will be returned to it's original state.

rem device=c:\****\***\***.exe
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If the config.sys file is corrupted then you will have to replace it. If you have a boot disk copy it from there. If you have a install cd, then most will let you copy a file at your selection. Sometimes you may have to rename the file to get it to copy if it is a protected file. After a good copy is verified by reboot delete the renamed file.
MS-Dos was the first operating system for a IBM type computer.
It only used 640k of memory and computers may have had up to 1 megabyte of memory later on, at first the computer had less memory. Bill Gates secured part of CP/M, as up above in that post and rewrote part of it for IBM to use for their computer's OS - operating system.
Than Apple Computers came out with a sort of Graphical User Interface -- Gooey - GUI, so Bill Gates started writing Windows.
The first Windows was like Windows 286 for a 286 type computer processor than Windows 386 for a IBM type 386 Intel processor.

These did little more than Dos but since more memory was trying to be used in a computer, my 80286 had 2 megabytes of memory.
These early Windows were a graphical interface put on top of Windows. There are two modes in early Intel processors, regular mode which will only use 1 megabyte of memory and a protected mode of the processor which will in theory should handle something like 2 gigabytes of memory or 4 gigabytes. That is all the Intel processor will ever handle as of now. Putting a computer Intel processor in protected mode is quite a process in programming in itself, and there was books written on it. After putting a computer in protected mode, DOS becomes not a separate item as in the early unprotected mode of the processor.
It has to be allocated memory from Windows now, since once the processor is in protected mode, it is not easy or nearly impossible without restarting the computer to put it in just using lower memory (the first megabyte of memory still ) which is all DOS will ever use. It can not use more memory without some type of program to set up the processor to work in a protected mode. You may have had a game like XCOM - Apcolyse that uses a computer program to set up DOS to use extended memory. It is all extended memory in protected mode, but still one can use part of the upper memory of the first megabyte for expanded memory which is EMM386.sys type file where device drivers are loaded up in high memory for DOS when games or whatever was used to keep the lower 640 kilobytes of memory more free for usage. It still was too small to do what people wanted the computer to do.

Now Windows sets up the processor in protected mode to begin with to use all the memory an Intel type processor can handle.
Once it is set up, like I said above, which is a process of a computer program setting memory locations and global memory for pages of memory and everything, it is too hard to just let DOS take over and run by itself. Therefore, Windows 95 still used DOS type programs in it although the processor was set to run in protected mode.
So, depending on how one looks at it, Dos was original, Windows was put on top of DOS until about Windows 98.
Windows 2000 and Windows ME and XP now typically get rid of DOS and only emulate DOS mode, while I still can with Windows 98 start my computer in DOS mode. I still can start a computer in DOS mode if I have a boot 3 - 1/12 floppy with DOS on it.
The new Windows OS's may not allow that anymore, I am still using Windows 98SE, which is the last Windows to actually support a native DOS mode. (I still have games in DOS that work, and still use DOS mode myself).

Now it is Dos underneath Windows with the new Windows as above, but the early Windows were on top of DOS.

Depending how one looks at Windows and which Windows OS one is talking about.

Books on Windows 95 or Windows 98 or Windows whatever usually tell all about it.
Windows essentially is DISK OPERATING SYSTEM which is what is referred to DOS.The only difference is that it is a single task switching system,which eliminates the need for TSR Windows is not emulating DOS,if you think DOS as that command prompt thing well may be you"re referring to something else,still the underneath still remains the same,the same c: drive,same Boot-up process,same sysinit module,same shell viz,same Kernel viz MS-DOS.SYS,SO THINGS HAVENT CHANGED A LOT,WHEN YOU ADD GUI to this DOS it becomes windowsplus a bunch of other slip arounds and other additional programs...



if you really wanna learn something about DOS,then read this book:
one of the most exhaustive and comprehensive books i"ve ever read,teaches everything about DOS in quite a depth for a beginner.
Also you may want to take a look at:


Windows is multi-tasking, although that means just allowing so many cycles of the CPU to perform on one task -- like WORD, then perform cycles on another task -- like Notepad, recycling through all programs one may have open to see if it needs updating.
DOS can and only will work on one thing at a time. In DOS, one must close out the program one is using before another program can be used, in WINDOWS, one can leave open several programs and pick up where one left off with many programs.
Windows is event driven, whereas DOS was a command driven OS. Meaning that Windows looks for events (like a mouse click or a program requesting a process), whereas DOS needs a command first before doing an operation.
Many books on both, but DOS is not used that much anymore, and finding DOS books probably have to be found in a bargin bin, if found at all anymore.
Originally posted by Raion
DOS can and only will work on one thing at a time. In DOS, one must close out the program one is using before another program can be used, in WINDOWS, one can leave open several programs and pick up where one left off with many programs.

hi Raon,welcome to sciforums.
sorry to say this but the thing you describe here is not exactly correct.actually when you think about things like you can leave a program open in windows whereas in dos you"ll have complete one task etc.the thing is that in windows also while you leave a program as it is,its not left like that in the memory.instead it is swapped and copied back to HD.once the user completes whole thing that he wants to and returns to the program,it loads it back from the HD.although windows is a multi-tasking enviornment but it is not different from DOS(with various slip arounds like TSRs etc)
Windows is event driven, whereas DOS was a command driven OS. Meaning that Windows looks for events (like a mouse click or a program requesting a process), whereas DOS needs a command first before doing an operation.
Are you saying that the Events that you describe here are not commands?

whats the difference Raion?
we click on something with mouse all it does is that it produces a software interrupt according to our click and performs the task accordingly.all these are under DOS interrupt no.21H and nothing else.
DOS commands
they are one and the same as mouse shit,the difference off course being that you have to write the whole damm thing as follows.

any inputs,clarification are most heartedly as welcome...
hope you enjoy your stay here as much as i do...

From what I remember:

DOS was a re-write of a "Barebones" OS (barebones meaning a skeleton)

It was written to utilise 640k LMB (Lower Memory Blocks) for user loaded modules and the other 360k UMB (Upper Memory Blocks) was meant for hardware drivers, meaning all systems had 1Mb in all, but only 640k for use by a user.

There was a lower usage version that was 540k, and this was written for the 5 1/4" floppy diskettes to run an OS from a clean boot without using the Harddrive.

The DOS OS wasn't just incorporated on IBM systems but Amstrads and a few other systems too, although most of them had a 16 colour monochrome display. EGA etc.

The first Windows were built to utilise the already created DOS, I remember loading a Windows for Workgroups many years ago to compliment the DOS package, all loads were from 3 1/2" floppy diskettes (4-6 for DOS and about 6-8 for Workgroups. I dumped the diskettes many years ago due to boot parity viruses, since at the time the world lacked from decent virii removers)

Windows 95 took over from Windows 3.1 (3.1.1) and when it did it brought a whole set of errors straight out from the box. The first issue of 95 of 3 1/2" Floppy had to be replaced due to errors from manufacturing.

(DirectX, a system built for containing the most valued device drivers for compatibility with what was at the time, Games! wasn't in existance yet)

Windows 95 could only just run on system with 16Mb of RAM (windows 3.1.1 needed 8Mb of RAM). It was possible to run on my 486x66Mhz 20Mb 1.2gb harddrive system, but I would have been a better idea to run DOS or windows 3.1.1 due to the amount of resources taken up by the OS (And the increase in the amount of file space that was taken up from the harddisk.)

You see, Windows was the first operating system to start to eat up the harddrive. If oyu were lucky to have a 400-600mb harddrive, windows ate most of it with it's operating system files and the Conventional Memory file.

Luckily, Hardware managed to continue to evolve (probably because of windows forcing the evolution)

Windows 98, upgraded 95 and fixed a few bugs here and there, DirectX 5 was a standard issue.

NT3 Side stepped, a windows operating system that was designed for network intergration. It was suppose to be more secure, and this made it scrutinised by hackers who nit-picked at it and showed just how vunerable it was.

NT4 was suppose to be a vast improvement, again the hackers proved otherwise.

Then Microsoft did something really odd... They created Windows ME and Windows 2000, this caused some conflicting problems. 1: ME on release didn't have enough drivers written for hardware 2: having two operating systems launched on the "Millenium" confused people into loading the wrong drivers (i.e. 2000 drivers on ME)

Of course the following was realised.

Windows ME was based upon windows but involved slight re-writes, as no longer did a windows system run on old DOS systematics, it was starting to evolve.

Windows 2000 was and is pretty much NT5, an upgrade to the networking systems, but it started to cross breed with the more personalised windows to try and make things a little easier on those poor systems adminstrators that have to keep up with problems.

Windows XP would be the next advance, Closing down development in old NT systems, but bringing what had be learnt into a re-write of windows. completely new hoisted code, with a virtual engine capable of loading most of the software meant for any of the previous OS's.

(By the way Zion emm386.exe doesn't necessarily work with newer machines, there was a mention that it's really of use with EISA architectures. It's really just a program for preloading DOS drivers into UMB (Upper Memory Blocks). Sometimes old DOS games I use to run required trying to juggle drivers for loading like LOADHIGH or LH, otherwise there wasn't enough lower blocks to execute the program.

QUEMM is quite a good package for replacing DOS DRIVERS. I managed to get about 620K lower with it freed up, with all the drivers being loaded to HIGH, but using a form of compression.)
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